The war in Ukraine is affecting the food security of the most vulnerable rural households across the country. For rural and isolated communities, the war is resulting in large-scale displacement, compounding existing vulnerabilities and disrupting agricultural livelihoods.
Food consumption gaps are expected to grow among the most vulnerable. Instability has led to a lack of affordable agricultural inputs, market barriers, price fluctuations, and poor access to water, negatively impacting agricultural activities and food production. Displacement, insecurity and damage to infrastructure puts production at further risk.
Without time-critical agricultural assistance, vulnerable farming households’ food insecurity will worsen, potentially compelling them to adopt negative coping mechanisms, including extreme actions like selling productive assets, forced migration and increased gender-based violence. It is therefore critical to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable smallholders and support the recovery of the agriculture sector. Agricultural assistance combined with cash assistance (cash+) is vital to improving food security, especially for the most vulnerable households, including those headed by women, the elderly and people with disabilities. In response, FAO has formulated a Rapid Response Plan to support farmers throughout the country who choose to stay, including internally displaced people and host families, to plant their fields, save their livestock and produce food.
Through Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA), the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium contributed USD 500 000 to FAO to mitigate the adverse impacts of the war on the food security of vulnerable rural households in Ukraine. With Belgium’s generous support, FAO will assist 880 smallholder farmers (2 640 people) by providing them with season-sensitive agricultural inputs, along with unconditional, multi-purpose cash transfers to prevent the use of negative coping mechanisms such as accumulating debts or selling livelihood assets.